Hospital Environment Scenarios using WLAN over OPNET Simulation Tool

Hospital Environment Scenarios using WLAN over OPNET Simulation Tool

Nurul I. Sarkar (School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand), Anita Xiao-min Kuang (School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand), Kashif Nisar (InterNetWorks Research Laboratory, School of Computing, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia) and Angela Amphawan (InterNetWorks Research Laboratory, School of Computing, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/ijicthd.2014010104
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Abstract

For the past ten years, heterogeneous networks wired and wireless had tended to integrate seamlessly, offering effective and reliable service for medical operations. One of the problems encountered by network practitioners is the seamless integration of network components into healthcare delivery. As a multiplexing hospital model, the implementation certainly presents some challenges. The major technical and performance issues involve are as following. The operating parameters should keep aligned to the Quality of Service (QoS) requirement throughout simulation. Bandwidth utilisation of wireless networking is a challenging issue for real-time multimedia transmission. IEEE 802.11 provides relatively lower data rate than wired networks, thus the developer tends to adopt a more compromised solution: either reduce the file size or compress the image packets. Communication performance that varies constantly with the impact of signal strength, traffic load and interference. As stated radio signal senses as a curve and attenuates greatly while metallic object and microwave exist within the active range. To ensure devices do not interfere with other electronic equipments (e.g. heart monitors), assert wireless spectrum has to be managed appropriately. This research paper aims to develop a generic hospital network scenarios using Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) over OPNET Simulation, to evaluate the performance of the integrated network scenario for Intensive Care Units (ICU). This research makes use of computer simulation and discusses various aspects of the network design, so as to discover the performance behaviour pertaining to effect of traffic type, traffic load and network size. In the ICU scenario, the performance of video conference degrades with network size, thus, a QoS-enabled device is recommended to reduce the packet delay and data loss. IEEE 802.11a suits in hospital environment because it mitigates interference on the 2.4GHz band where most wireless devices operate. Experiment examines the effect of signal strength in WLAN. It is convinced that -88dBm is the best signal strength threshold. Although 802.11a generates slightly lower throughput than 802.11g, this issues can be addressed by placing more APs in the service area. It is convinced that 802.11a suits the hospital environments, because it mitigates interference on the popular 2.4GHz band where most wireless devices operate. It is important for medical devices which require future upgrade and Bluetooth deployment.
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2. Justification Of Current Wlan Technologies

The advent of IEEE 802.11 standards significantly stimulates wireless connectivity in hospital circumstances. Table 1 compares the key characteristics of 802.11 WLAN standards. Due to the Media Access Control (MAC) design, WLAN standards vary greatly in data rate, coverage, and other features. IEEE 802.11b resides in 2.4GHz frequency band and operates High Rate - Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (HR-DSSS) as MAC. The cost and coverage advantage makes it a lead in the home networking market. Nonetheless, point out a fact that large hospitals are more likely to invest on wireless technologies than smaller ones. The investment of wireless technologies is determined by fiscal budget, complexity of medical system and sophisticated communication need.

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